The White House claims that John Roberts tenure as Deputy Solicitor General is irrelevant. They argue his work during that time has no bearing on his personal views. Former Senator Fred Thompson — who the President has put in charge of marshalling Roberts through Congress — had this to say about his role in the Solicitor General’s office:
[H]e was a litigant. I think it’s enough said about that. He was representing a client, the client’s position.
That’s not how Roberts described the job on his resume. Instead, Roberts emphasized how he had final say on the administration’s position in hundreds of cases. Newsday provides excerpts from Roberts’ resume:
I have served as Acting Solicitor General in some 90 cases before the Supreme Court, including 15 argued on the merits – three by me personally…I had final responsibility for determining whether the United States would seek further review of adverse decisions in some 380 cases.
In other words, according to Roberts, he wasn’t just implementing policy. He was making policy. Thus, documents related to his work as Deputy Solicitor General are critical to understanding his legal philosophy.